Rule of Law

Rule of Law

The Rule of Law, in its most basic form, is the principle that no one is above the law. The rule follows logically from the idea that truth, and therefore law, is based upon fundamental principles which can be discovered, but which cannot be created through an act of will.

The most important application of the rule of law is the principle that governmental authority is legitimately exercised only in accordance with written, publicly disclosed laws adopted and enforced in accordance with established procedural steps that are referred to as due process. The principle is intended to be a safeguard against arbitrary governance, whether by a totalitarian leader or by mob rule. Thus, the rule of law is hostile both to dictatorship and to anarchy.

LexisNexis is committed to playing a positive role in the community and becoming an authoritative voice in "higher order" legal and risk management business issues that are not only topical, but, more importantly, foundational to the stability of governments, the well-being of their citizens, and business. One example is our initiative regarding "the Rule of Law" and its role in preserving, protecting, and defending the rights and property of individuals and corporations around the world.

To find out more about the latest rule of law initiatives, read our newsletters:

Advancing Together: Rule of Law Updates and Perspectives, July 2014

Advancing Together: Rule of Law Updates and Perspectives, June 2015

Advancing Together: Rule of Law Updates and Perspectives, December 2015

Advancing Together: Rule of Law Updates and Perspectives, June 2016

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Louis F. Duffy (deceased), Sr. Vice President Emeritus and International Consultant, LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, Addresses ABA Human Rights Luncheon and express the company's support for Human Rights and World Peace through Law.


Transparency of the Legal System

"There can be no Rule of Law unless there is access to the basic sources of law."

— Theuns Viljoen, CEO, LexisNexis Pacific

Rule of Law cannot exist without a transparent legal system, the main components of which are a clear set of laws that are freely and easily accessible to all, strong enforcement structures, and an independent judiciary to protect citizens against the arbitrary use of power by the state, individuals or any other organization.

In some countries the average citizen, businesses trying to operate in those countries, and even practicing lawyers have limited access to laws or legal decisions. Recognizing this challenge, LexisNexis is working in Ghana, Mauritius and three Nigerian states to update laws, to issue them in printed volumes, and then to make them publicly available.

For the past seven years, LexisNexis South Africa has worked throughout Africa to consolidate and update laws in Kenya, Swaziland, South Africa, Malawi, and Zimbabwe—fourteen nations in all.  As Theuns Viljoen, Executive Director, LexisNexis South Africa, observes, “Our approach is that there can be no Rule of Law unless there is access to the basic sources of Law.”

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Economic Development and the Rule of Law

"The Rule of Law can generate economic reform and unlock the social, political and economic potential that exists in societies."

— Henry Horbaczewski, former Corporate General Counsel, Reed Elsevier

LexisNexis believes that meaningful, deep-rooted economic development can only occur in societies where the Rule of Law exists. Robust economies are dependent upon the existence of clear laws that govern societies and commerce, and a strong, independent judiciary to impartially enforce laws and contracts so that citizens, institutions and foreign investors can risk capital and trust that risk is protected from arbitrary forces. The Rule of Law thus enables people and institutions to fulfill their dreams and aspirations individually and collectively.

LexisNexis promotes economic development and the Rule of Law in a variety of ways, including outreach and advocacy, educational forums, thought leadership, and the free dissemination of and training on LexisNexis® solutions.

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